Where Should I Go From Here?

I am a developer from the Tampa Bay area who recently completed the Front End Development Certification on FCC. Believe it or not, I also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in 2008 and worked at two well known companies, Verizon Wireless and Tech Data for several years as a developer.

While I was at Verizon Wireless, I built and maintained VBA applications over the course of several years before finally gaining .NET experience maintaining their internal application for tracking sales during the last 6 months. When my contract ended, I was able to obtain the position at Tech Data by using the .NET experience that I had gained. At Tech Data, I owned a variety of roles including managing and automating deployments, maintaining their classic ASP intranet, and serving on a support team for their e-commerce websites.

When my Dad got cancer at the end of 2015, I decided to leave Tech Data to spend some time with him where he lived in Idaho. Praise God, he has now fully recovered and has no more cancer. That being said, last September I was ready to start looking for development positions. One thing that I realized was that I had owned a variety of roles at Tech Data, including automating and managing deployments, and as a result, I still needed to gain a lot of experience in the way of projects, that I didn’t get at Tech Data, to match the requirements of jobs. I gave things some thought and the plan of attack that I arrived at was to focus on Front End to make the path shorter. I found FCC and found a lot of the projects on the Front End track to be worthwhile and thought that they would improve my JavaScript skills, which they did. I actually enjoyed reading a post from @P1xt about a lot of things - but clean code was one of them and I need to take some of @P1xt’s advice and use a linter, etc on the projects. For now, you can see my completed projects from FCC here: http://www.homerallen.com, here: http://codepen.io/HomerAllen/, and here: https://github.com/homerallen. I have a .NET stock tracker application that uses AJAX to query the Yahoo API that I need to piece back together and find hosting for and put that up as well.

Now that I’ve completed the Front End Certification, I am at a crossroads. The question is - where do I go from here? I do not have an income right now. I want to take the absolute best route to a job that is a good fit given my very unique situation. My thoughts are that if I knew it would allow me to obtain another development position (and soon) I wouldn’t mind going through the rest of the FCC course, completing the non-profits, and looking for jobs with that experience, hoping I’d find a good fit that was willing to hire me. My savings would allow me to complete FCC while working on it full time, but I’d want to find a job after that fairly quickly. My question would be how quickly I would be able to find a job after. That being said, I thought about getting a part-time job or finding some supplemental source of income while I complete FCC.

Does anybody have any thoughts or ideas regarding where I am at? What route would you take if you were me? Do you think that completing FCC is the best possible route for me to gain another development job from here? Or does anyone possibly have any better ideas? Thanks!


###Take everything I say with an entire shaker of salt

From what you’ve said, it sounds to me like you could find a job now. You have a formal degree, industry experience, and are brushing up on new technologies. An employment gap of a year or two has become relatively common in the tech industry and, given the reason, I don’t think it would be much of a mark against you.

So I guess the real question at hand is: how much work do you still have to do to qualify for the job you want? Will taking the job you can get halt your progress toward the job you want?

I refuse to give any actual advice that could impact your financial security, but I think that if I was in your position I would start applying and interviewing so that I could get a sense of my employability and make a risk assessment off of that information.


I think that’s great advice!

I actually have plans to meet with an adviser at the USF career center that helps alumni. They actually are connected with a multi-university jobs website and so I am going to also use that in helping me to find the right opportunity.

Meanwhile, I have a list of learning areas and projects that I intend to move forward with.

Thanks again for your thoughts!